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Apple access restrictions unjustified

Apple access restrictions unjustified

1 December 2006

Biosecurity Australia’s Final Import Risk Analysis (IRA) for New Zealand is disappointing, Local Hawke's Bay MP Rick Barker said today.

"The good news is that after 84 years Australia's ban on New Zealand apples looks like it will be overturned," said Rick Barker.

"The bad news is that access for New Zealand apples will only be able to occur under extremely restrictive conditions.

"Requirements such as the need for Australian officials to come over and inspect our orchards for signs of fire blight are simply not justified, and designed specifically to add large costs to those wanting to export to Australia.

"The Government put a lot of effort and resources into a submission for the report and it is disappointing to see the scientific arguments put forward ignored in favour of what I see as policies of protectionism.

"Hawke's Bay is New Zealand's main apple growing region but it is not just our orchardists that will miss out under the report as it stands. Australian consumers will also be disadvantaged, as they will have to pay higher prices for quality kiwi apples.

"The Government will continue to work closely with the industry to find a solution to the issue of apple access into Australia. No options, including taking it to the WTO, have been ruled out.

"I am committed to getting a fair deal for local growers. Fair trade is a fair go and these restrictions are completely unjustified," said Rick Barker.

ENDS


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